I live a double life. I don’t fight crime on weekends, as my “Kim Possible” ringtone suggests, but rather I am a completely different person during the summer months than I am here at school. During the school year, I detest getting up at eight to get to 9:10 classes. I shower every morning, check my Twitter and Facebook as much as possible and rarely eat breakfast. But as soon as I set foot in the Adirondacks, everything is different. I wake up at 6:20 every morning. Showers are a privilege, I don’t have internet, cell reception, or television, eat three square meals a day and sneak leftovers to keep me moving through the day. The only people I have the time to have full conversations with are campers who are more interested in raising cattle and showing sheep than following Justin Bieber on Twitter. Makeup is a waste, and jewelry is a safety hazard. I am camp counselor and have worked at the same summer camp for the past three summers, attended the camp for five years before, and have been going there since before I can remember. My job is to be as peppy as possible at 8 a.m. when I am saying the Pledge of Allegiance, and after breakfast I have to motivate high schoolers to run around, sing silly songs and develop their leadership skills all before 11 a.m. As miserable as you may think this life sounds, I miss summer camp, and I never want to leave when the summer is over.
Why don’t I let this side of myself shine through during the colder part of every year? Let’s face it, bandanas aren’t in style, and motivating the people around me to sing and dance in the most ridiculous of ways isn’t easy. But I know I am not the only one doing this. We all act differently when we are at school. It is perfectly normal for us to suppress certain traits in order to fit in with our peers and be accepted. I don’t think this is wrong at all, as long as we aren’t lying about who we are. I hate getting up early, but that doesn’t mean that for part of the year I accept it as part of my life. I would love to be kayaking rather than in class, but I know that going to class is far more important in the long run. We do what is best for ourselves based on the situation, and if that means I can’t hang out 40 feet up in a tree for the entire afternoon, then that is OK with me.
The people around us influence how we behave, for better or for worse. The people I work with at camp are great because they make me laugh and cry from laughing so hard. I have made some of my best friends at camp and continue to have strong bonds and the most ridiculous inside jokes with them, even though I don’t see them from August through December, and then not again until June sometimes. However, I know that as soon as we see each other for a weekend of skiing and snowshoeing, it will be like no time has passed at all. But I also know that I feel the same way about my school friends. After winter break, it will be like nothing has changed, and break never happened, which is how it should be. Without true friends, the 30 weeks I spend in Oswego wouldn’t be as much fun without them, and they are a large reason why I never want to leave Oswego for break.
Living a double life isn’t all bad, different people understand different sides of you, for no one person is simple enough to have one identity. As long as you are true to yourself, no matter where you are, no matter whom you are with, you will always have fun, make genuine friends and simply have the time of your life.